(PhysOrg.com) — Mass extinctions occur repeatedly, though irregularly, throughout Earth’s history, and occasionally these extinctions have been devastating to life on our planet – or have they? Extinction events have sometimes accelerated the evolution of life on earth by eliminating old dominating species and making room for new ones. A new study takes this idea a step further, showing that life may have never achieved the complexity necessary for the development of advanced multi-cellular organisms without recurring extinction events.
I found the above article very interesting because of the concept that mass extinctions are not always “bad” for the life on this planet. However, as far as we know, all previous mass extinctions have taken place due to natural causes. Right now the planet is undergoing the sixth mass extinction which is very greately influenced by humans, it is not natural. So would this one have the same impact on life as all others before? Will it open up an opportunity for new life forms to flourish on this planet? Or will there be only one major species remaining, the homo sapiens? Or rather, like Juan Enriquez contemplates, we’ll become homo evolutis?